Three new businesses have launched this year at Millstone Kitchen, a shared-use facility in Blacksburg. The owner-operators of Grandpa Foods, Just Graze & Co and Thyme & Table are all making their dreams a reality this spring, each with a unique perspective on food and hospitality.
Rose Mary and William Bellamy, of Grandpa Foods, aim to share their homespun apple butter-based barbeque sauces with customers.
“My wife didn’t like the taste of tomato-based barbeque sauces,” William said, so he came up with a tasty alternative. William, the namesake of Grandpa Foods, whose face appears on the label, finally honed in on a sauce recipe that Rose Mary loved and they decided to turn their family recipe into a new venture.
Jackie Gardner has a passion for entertaining and gathering with her friends and family. She is launching Just Graze & Co, a charcuterie kit company, so she can share her passion with an even wider audience. Pre-order boxes come complete with a variety of cured meats, cheeses, spreads, sweets and crackers.
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Emily Worrall also grew her small business out of a love of cooking for her family. Thyme & Table offers multiportion prepared meals that can be stashed in the freezer until ready to eat. These weeknight-ready meals offer families convenience while prioritizing nutrition. Emily thoughtfully sources local meats and produce to prepare her from-scratch recipes. After recipe testing for friends during the height of the pandemic, Emily realized the concept could gain traction with the use of a certified kitchen space. Equipping entrepreneurs with the tools to launch their businesses is what Millstone Kitchen is all about.
“With many plans put on hold during the first two years of the pandemic, it is promising to see new ventures taking off,” said Laina Schneider, manager of Millstone Kitchen. “Our goal is to reach a sustainable level of operation for our facility while continuing to serve our community.”
There are now 14 businesses operating out of Millstone Kitchen. The shared-use commercial facility in Blacksburg is operated by the nonprofit Live Work Eat Grow, whose mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by fostering local food, farms and gardens, creating jobs and growing small businesses, supporting an affordable home for all, and gathering friends and neighbors.
For more information visit https://liveworkeatgrow.org/millstone-kitchen/.
— Submitted by Laina Schneider